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placeholder May 23, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA

May 25: Attend Episcopal ordination of Most Rev. Thomas Daly as auxiliary bishop of San Jose

May 26: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

May 27: (Afternoon) Mass and luncheon, Order of Malta Western Association, Oakland

May 29: (Morning) Stational Mass, 10 a.m., Cathedral

         (Afternoon) Mass with Dominican Jubilarians, Fremont

June 1: (Evening) Oakland Police Foundation Board Meeting

June 2: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

         (Evening) Region 2 Deanery 7 Dinner, Rectory

June 4: (Morning) Group Confirmation, Cathedral

June 5: (Morning) Stational Mass, 10 a.m., Cathedral

June 6: (Evening) Priest’s retreat, San Damiano

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Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone approved these assignments:

Parrochial vicar

Father Edilberto Castañas, St. Joseph, Pinole

Father Rafal Duda, St. Patrick, Rodeo

Father Gerald Pedrera, St. Leander, San Leandro

Father Alexander Castillo, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fremont

Father Kenneth Sales, St. Anthony, Oakley

Father Juan Franco, St. Leander, San Leandro

Father Fernando Cortez, All Saints, Hayward

Father Giopre Prado, St. Clement, Hayward

Father Lee Chompoochan, St. Augustine, Pleasanton

Pastor/administrator (effective date)

Father Robert McCann, pastor, St. Theresa, Oakland (July 15)

Father Jan Rudzewicz, administrator, Our Lady of Good Counsel, San Leandro (March 5, 2011)

Father Neal Clemens, administrator, St. Raymond, Dublin (July 15)

Father Kenneth Nobrega, vocation director (July 1)

Father Larry D’Anjou, sabbatical (July 1-Dec 1)

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Report released on clergy sexual abuse of minors

By David Gibson
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Because potential sexual abusers of minors cannot be pinpointed through “identifiable psychological characteristics,” it is “very important” to prevent abuse by limiting the “situational factors” associated with it, according to a long-awaited report on the causes and context of sexual abuse by priests in the United States. (See infographic below.)

The report, released in Washington May 18, said there is “no single identifiable ‘cause’ of sexually abusive behavior toward minors.” It encouraged steps to deny abusers “the opportunity to abuse.”

Titled “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” it reports the findings of a study mandated in 2002 under the U.S. Catholic bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

The charter created a National Review Board and directed the lay consultative body to commission studies of the abuse problem’s “nature and scope” and its “causes and context.” The John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York conducted both studies.

The new report addressed several misperceptions about the sexual abuse of minors by priests. It said:

• Priestly celibacy does not explain this problem. “Constant in the Catholic Church since the 11th century,” celibacy cannot “account for the rise and subsequent decline in abuse cases from the 1960s through the 1980s.”

• Despite “widespread speculation,” priests with a homosexual identity “were not significantly more likely to abuse minors” than heterosexual priests.

Removing opportunities to abuse minors, making abuse more difficult and increasing its risks are among prevention steps the report recommended. The report affirmed the safe environment programs implemented in the U.S.

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Tridentine Mass at St. Peter’s
Cardinal Walter Brandmuller elevates the Eucharist during a Tridentine-rite Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican May 15. It was the first time in several decades that the rite was celebrated at the altar. A new Vatican instruction calls on local bishops and pastors to respond generously to Catholics who seek celebration of the Mass according to the 1570 to 1962 Roman Missal, commonly known as the Tridentine rite, almost exclusively in Latin. The instruction, issued May 13, said pastors should approve such Masses for groups of faithful, even when such groups are small or are formed of people from different parishes or dioceses. These faithful cannot, however, contest the validity of the modern Mass or the authority of the pope. 

Vatican orders bishops to draft abuse guidelines
VATICAN CITY — Every bishops’ conference in the world must have guidelines for handling accusations of clerical sex abuse in place within a year, said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In a letter dated May 3 and released by the Vatican May 16, U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, congregation prefect, said that in every nation and region, bishops should have “clear and coordinated procedures” for protecting children, assisting victims of abuse, dealing with accused priests, training clergy and cooperating with civil authorities. Describing sexual abuse of minors as “a crime prosecuted by civil law,” the doctrinal congregation said bishops should follow local laws that require reporting cases of sexual abuse to police.

AI criticizes Vatican for not protecting children

VATICAN CITY — Amnesty International named the Vatican in its annual report on human rights’ concerns for not sufficiently complying with international mandates on protecting children from abuse. It marked the first time the Vatican was named in the group’s Annual Report on the state of human rights around the world. The 2011 Annual Report covered human rights in 157 countries, looking particularly at rights abuses and restrictions and at failures to implement international rights’ agreements. The report, released May 13, said, “The Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children,” specifically regarding sex abuse. The Amnesty International report said, “Increasing evidence of widespread child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy over the past decades, and of the enduring failure of the Catholic Church to address these crimes properly, continued to emerge in various countries.”

Prayer challenging way to open up to the divine

VATICAN CITY — Even though it is in the nature of every human being to seek God, creating the kind of inner state necessary for prayer is difficult, Pope Benedict XVI said. “Prayer is first and foremost a matter of the heart where we experience God’s call and our dependence on his help to transcend our limitations and sinfulness,” the pope said May 11 at his weekly general audience. Pope Benedict’s catechesis was the latest in a new series of audience talks about prayer.

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